Tips on buying and using luan

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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby S. Heisley » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:09 am

djdawg wrote:Thank you for this thread...I was wondering about using Luan for skinning a teardrop as I used it in my hot dog cart. I like working with it because it's inexpensive and easy to use. (and easy to bend to a certain extent)

I too have had a few spots bubble and I hate it. I had painted my cart so I thought a decent exterior paint would keep this from happening but apparantly not. However it was some time between skinning the cart and when actual paint was applied so who knows. I appreciate your experiment and when I finally move forward with this I'll do the same.

You mentioned something about applying something else as a final coat....do you think this could be an exterior paint? Would that do the trick?


Most epoxies are not UV resistant and need something else applied over them that is UV resistant. The more you do and the better the quality of products that you use, the better your results should be. This goes for whatever paint you use, too. (For mine, I ended up using a type of boat paint.) Also, it is especially important to coat all cut areas, joints and plywood ends very well as, if moisture can find a way to wick in, it will; and, the cut ends offer many opportunities for this to happen.

Damage can occur that is caused by road rubble, tree limbs, sun baking.....If "it" can happen, whatever "it" is, it will. If the paint on your car gets chipped or scratched, you touch up the paint to prevent rust. Metal takes a lot longer to break down than plywood. Do the best you can and be diligent in repairing any damage found. Provide shelter for your trailer, if you can. That's the best that I can tell you.

Best wishes on your build, DJ.
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby markhusbands » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:09 pm

Well, I used 1/8" red oak ply for my inner skin and found it easy to bend once if bent parallel to the face grain. Just bought some cheaper luan for the outer (concealed) skin, and it not NEARLY so flexible. I wish I had just bought the red oak again for anther ten or fifteen bucks a sheet. But since I have two sheets of luan I'm going to try to bend it. A 4'x4' piece is now bent over a sawhorse to see if will COMPLY.
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby es009d7705 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:47 pm

Hi S, Evan here from sunny Scotland. I have no idea what Luan ply is but would be interested in finding out, maybe it is your local name for a particular ply? I have had a particularly bad experience with the ply on my tear as I didnt use the proper resin. I wasnt aware that there were different types and opted for the cheaper polyester not a wise choice. I noticed very large blisters appearing on the front and found that this is a condition called osmosis. Because the polyester isnt water proof the water leeches through to the ply and throws the resin of in great blisters when I removed the surface resin I found that it had rotted the ply underneath. It has been a costly lesson and I will have strip it back to the wood replace the damaged ply and do it right this time. You perfectly correct in saying it is worth doing your your research and spending that little extra on getting the proper materials, :cry: bye .
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby tony.latham » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:09 pm

I think the term is somewhat generic and doesn't cover the type of glue used. The stuff I've seen in the big-box stores in the U.S. is junk, but I'm sure there's higher quality stuff out there. I know it's used for a lot of interior door sheathing.

Here's a link: http://theplywood.com/luan

Me? I'm a baltic-birch ply guy.

Tony
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby S. Heisley » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:37 pm

tony.latham wrote:I think the term is somewhat generic and doesn't cover the type of glue used. The stuff I've seen in the big-box stores in the U.S. is junk, but I'm sure there's higher quality stuff out there. I know it's used for a lot of interior door sheathing.

Here's a link: http://theplywood.com/luan

Me? I'm a baltic-birch ply guy.

Tony


That is an excellent explanation, Tony. Thank you! :)
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby JaggedEdges » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:04 pm

Been poking around to see "what I can get" locally, only online though, haven't hit stores.

I've found one place with lauan with exterior grade glue, and it sounds better than the fir plywood which says it has a "composed" core, i.e. not solid. All the hardwood plies I'm seeing, don't seem to be coming with exterior grade glue. IMO that is a deal killer for this climate, it will just get steamed apart even if you never have it rained on.
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby Bluebunny » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:40 pm

Hi folks,
Lauan typically refers to the WOOD, a cheap tropical grade which is reportedly more rot resistant than say birch. 15 years ago Lauan was common with exterior glue. I built a little boat of the stuff in yr 2000, and it is still like new. The lauan at Menards and Home Depot of late has been assembled with interior glue. Not moisture resistant and will delaminate. Don't use it outdoors. I have recently switched to INTEGRAPLY underlayment, which says on its spec sheet uses exterior glue. It is one of at least two types that has the X's printed on one side. Having a name branding on it, allows me to look up the specs to be sure of glue grade. It is almost as inexpensive as lauan, especially when on sale. The downside of this stuff is that it seems more brittle, so will take less impact to fracture. Time will tell if the kayak I'm building will serve a long life.
Last edited by Bluebunny on Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
off topic Stitch-and-Glue ply kayak build... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 254&type=3
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby JaggedEdges » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:02 pm

Yah the "instant boat" tack and tape folks were having a field day with the exterior glue lauan a decade back, banging out everything they fancied.
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby dales133 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:03 pm

I've picked up some 3.6mm ply witch I assumed was waterproof glue but since found out it isn't. I was planning on sealing it intensely but sides and only using it for the ceiling and some decorative work, would you take the risk?
It's lovely looking stuff in mint condition
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby S. Heisley » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:09 pm

dales133 wrote:I've picked up some 3.6mm ply witch I assumed was waterproof glue but since found out it isn't. I was planning on sealing it intensely but sides and only using it for the ceiling and some decorative work, would you take the risk?
It's lovely looking stuff in mint condition


You can usually get away with it, if it is really well sealed all over...especially with epoxy sealing it. Be sure to give all edges a little extra as that's where the problems seem to often start with any plywood. ...Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby Art Mini » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:38 pm

When I started my build I didn't really know anything about these glues other than what the label said. So wanting it to be a strong build (first lol) I glued and then screwed everything together, Frame to plywood. It was when I realized I had made a mistake that I found out just how good Tite Bond III was. It had been maybe 20 mins. or so when I realized I had cut something wrong and had to take the 2 pieces apart. So I took out the screws and proceeded to put the pieces apart. Wouldn't budge. Try prying them apart and instead of the plywood coming of the frame, the plywood stayed on the frame and the plywood gave way splitting in the grain. I guess I got a good glue.
HAVE FUN STORMING THE CASTLE!!!!
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby kevindford » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:56 pm

After reading this thread, I went to three lumber suppliers in town (Las Vegas) to see what was what: 84 Lumber, Peterman Lumber, and Home Depot.

84 had one option- 1/4" 3 ply interior.
Home Depot had nothing labeled luan, and a harried employee who pointed me to MDF when I asked about luan.
Peterman had 4 types- all 3 ply, 2 of which were labeled 'bendable meranti." When asked whether they were interior or exterior, the employees laughed as though I had asked the average airspeed of a European swallow laden with a coconut.

I learned a ton, but mostly that these outlets don't have the 5-ply exterior-rated 5.5mm stuff recommended here.
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Re: Tips on buying and using luan

Postby tony.latham » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:22 am

kevindford wrote:After reading this thread, I went to three lumber suppliers in town (Las Vegas) to see what was what: 84 Lumber, Peterman Lumber, and Home Depot.

84 had one option- 1/4" 3 ply interior.
Home Depot had nothing labeled luan, and a harried employee who pointed me to MDF when I asked about luan.
Peterman had 4 types- all 3 ply, 2 of which were labeled 'bendable meranti." When asked whether they were interior or exterior, the employees laughed as though I had asked the average airspeed of a European swallow laden with a coconut.

I learned a ton, but mostly that these outlets don't have the 5-ply exterior-rated 5.5mm stuff recommended here.


Go back to a lumberyard. Forget the box stores. Ask for 1/4" plywood floor underlayment. Or call them up. (I see that Peterman's has Baltic birch BTW.)


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